Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ultra-short laser pulses for science and industry

08.05.2012
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT received the Stifterverband‘s Science Award 2012 together with several partners from industry and science.

The prize was awarded during the annual meeting of the Fraunhofer Society on May 8, 2012 in Stuttgart in recognition of its outstanding cross-location, multi-disciplinary collaboration on the laser platform for scaling the power of ultra-short laser pulses.


Adjustment of a picosecond laser.
Picture Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Laser technology uses light. Light can be rapidly and precisely deflected, shaped and focused. If we pulse laser light and continuously reduce the pulse duration, the laser tool works even more precisely. A benefit: The material being processed heats up less and less. High-power, ultra-short pulses, then, are the ideal solution for medical applications, in brain surgery for instance, as the cerebral membrane is not damaged.

Or for removing tumor tissue in order to conserve the surrounding tissue and blood vessels. Yet this precision technology is also valued in the processing of materials, glass for instance: Lasers are able to cut narrow speaker ports in smartphone displays. For years, ultra-short laser pulses have been used for the extremely precise and gentle processing of highly-sensitive materials. Until now though, they have often lacked in power. The newly developed laser platform solves this problem with the INNOSLAB booster as its core. Four mirrors surround a laser crystal plate - the slab.

A pump jet enters at the two opposite sides of the slab. The mirrors are repeatedly deflected to allow ultra-short laser pulses to keep passing the slab. Each time they do, energy is transmitted from the pump jet to the laser pulse until the required power is achieved. This platform was developed by the Fraunhofer institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and refined further together with several partners from industry and science: the chair for laser technology at RWTH Aachen University, the Max Planck institute for Quantum Optics MPQ in Munich and the companies Jenoptik AG, EdgeWave and Amphos - the last two being ILT spin-offs. To develop new markets for laser systems with ultra-short wavelengths, the team of developers had to increase the mean laser output of ultra-short pulse beam sources - up to several hundred watts.

Because higher power makes higher production volumes in business and shorter measuring times during scientific experiments possible. Between 2008 and 2011, two joint projects revolved around developing the new beam source: The aim of the PIKOFLAT project, supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research BMBF, was to structure pressure tools and embossing dies. The goal was to reduce processing times while significantly increasing quality.

One of the results of this project is the production of embossing rollers that are used to create extremely fine artificial leather surfaces for the automotive industry. In the second joint project, KORONA, Fraunhofer collaborated closely with the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich and with RWTH Aachen University. The scientists jointly developed a compact beam source whose extremely short-wave light makes it possible to examine nano-structures.

Stifterverband Science Prize
In 1920, representatives from the business world established the Stifterverband at the suggestion of German academies, universities and scientific associations. Its re-foundation after the Second World War is closely linked with the re-foundation of the »Notgemeinschaft der deutschen Wissenschaft« [Emergency Association of German Science] on 11 January 1949. The Stifterverband is still considered to be the mediator between industry and science today. For ten years, the organization has awarded the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft with a prize worth 50,000 euro. The prize is awarded in recognition of outstanding joint applied research projects, on which Fraunhofer institutes work together with businesses and/or other research organizations (article 1). This and the prize „Technik für den Menschen“ [prize for human-centered technology] are awarded in alternate years.
Contacts at the Fraunhofer ILT
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact our experts:
Dipl.Ing Hans-Dieter Hoffmann
Competece Area Manager Lasers and Laser Optics
Phone +49 241 8906-206
hansdieter.hoffmann@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Dr. Peter Rußbüldt
Group Manager Ultrafast Lasers
Phone +49 241 8906-303
peter.russbueldt@ilt.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstraße 15
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8906-0
Fax +49 241 8906-121

Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer Forschung Kompakt
Further information:
http://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>